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Pentax DCF ED vs. Zen Ray

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 19:45
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I have heard a lot of reviews saying that the new Zen Rays have been very close optically to the Bigger Name higher priced binos. Well an 8x43 Zen Ray is a heck of a deal for $400.00. Has anyone seen the newer 8x43 Pentax DCF ED? I saw a guy offering to sell these for just under $600.00. Would there not be enough difference between these two to justify the extra bucks? I will probably go Zen ray just due to the much larger field of view. I was just wondering what you guys thought.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 19:56
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Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

Would there not be enough difference between these two to justify the extra bucks?

From what I've heard, the Zen's are sharper than the Pentax ED so those extra bucks would buy you some blurriness.  I think theres a thread either here or on birdforum.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 22:44
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I would have to rate the Zen Ray (or Hawke) optically superior to the Pentax, as much as I have admired Pentax optics over the past decade or more. Whether the Chinese brands are tougher is another question.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 22:50
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

I would have to rate the Zen Ray (or Hawke) optically superior to the Pentax, as much as I have admired Pentax optics over the past decade or more. Whether the Chinese brands are tougher is another question.

It would be hard to say whats better with respect to "toughness" without a good controlled test.  Anecdotes don't really cut it unless the exact same thing happens to 2 different binos.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 10:51
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I think that with any new product, regardless of the image, that it is reasonable for questions to be raised over the ultimate durability of the binocular.  New is just that, new, and Z-R, like anybody else will sink or swim, largely on anectdotal evidence.  I don't think there is a standard "bash it till it quits" test for binoculars like for some riflescopes.  Maybe there should be, but until then, the test will be word of mouth.
 
I also agree that the image oof the ZEN ED is better than the Pentax ED.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 13:53
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Why is almost everything here about Zen Ray?

Should I sell my Leica's to get a pair?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 14:17
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Why is almost everything here about Zen Ray?

Should I sell my Leica's to get a pair?

Considering how cheap they are, you shouldn't have to.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 15:31
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Why is almost everything here about Zen Ray?

Should I sell my Leica's to get a pair?
 
I would venture a wild guess it is because the threads are asking direct questions about Zen Ray binoculars.  Smile  That and the fact that there is likely a certain amount of OT curiosity about them since Chris announced his dealership of the Zen Ray Optics.
 
If you have a Leica (or any other alpha class binocular), you will probably gain little from selling and buying a ZEN ED 2.  But you would loose far less than you might imagine you will.  They are good enough that they are worth arranging for a look at them at least.
 
However, they are $400 binoculars and I will not go so far as to claim direct equality with the alpha binoculars.  Just that they are very close.


Edited by Klamath - July/31/2009 at 15:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 15:51
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Klamath, are you in any way affiliated with Zen Ray?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 16:51
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I have contacts there,  enough to be in fairly regular contact with them, and have participated in some potential product upgrade surveys.  Surveys probably developed from customer lists.  I do know there are a couple of other posters that post here as well as other forums that are in the same position as I am. 
 
I actually got to know them after I sent them a "somewhat skeptical" e-mail about their company.  That contact resulted in the offer of a free trial of their product, which said something to me about their confidence in the product.  I told them up front that if I chose to post anything about the product, it would be whatever I really thought about it, nothing more or less.  I did not recieve, expect, or ask for anything from Zen Ray.  I wound up buying the binoculars I got for review.
 
I tried their stuff, and concluded I liked it.  I have said as much, posted as much in various threads and forums about it, and stay with what I have said.  I also have a bunch of other optics besides Z-R.  I just am a guy with an optics hobby. 
 
So I think Chris and Zen Ray have a potential win-win deal going.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2009 at 10:44
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I have used a Leica Trinovid 10x42 for the past 10 years and still love it.  That being said, I'm intrigued by this Zen Ray HDII also.  I do believe the primo stuff, i.e. Zeiss FL, Leica HD, Swaro EL, Nikon EDG is WAY overpriced in today's world.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2009 at 10:12
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What's the release date for the Zen II's?  In other words, will I get them before August 15 when whitetails open here?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2009 at 11:55
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Originally posted by SChunter SChunter wrote:

What's the release date for the Zen II's?  In other words, will I get them before August 15 when whitetails open here?

Theres no hard date.  August 8th is the day thats been talked about the most.  So August 8th + delivery time.  With overnight, you might have it by the 9th.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2009 at 20:05
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Klamath turned me on to the Zen Rays, other than that he has no connection with 'em that I can see.

I am going to take a Zen Ray up to Alaska in a couple of weeks to see how it holds up on a black bear hunt under tough conditions.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2009 at 22:43
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Alright, I'm waiting to see what happens up north before springing for a pair! Thunbs Up

Seriously though, I'm still weighing two things:

1) Literally weighing how much more I'm willing to carry into the mountains

2) Zens or Vortex Razors. I'm leaning towards the Zens though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 14:01
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For those who might be curious, yes the Pentax ED bins are also made in Chine.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 19:52
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

I am going to take a Zen Ray up to Alaska in a couple of weeks to see how it holds up on a black bear hunt under tough conditions.

 
Hi, John, have a great trip in Alaska!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 20:16
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Thanks! I'll give you a report when I get back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/04/2009 at 20:23
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Originally posted by John Barsness John Barsness wrote:

Thanks! I'll give you a report when I get back.

Try not to baby it.  We all want to hear how robust it is Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 18:04
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In my experience it is hard to baby anything if you are hunting hard in Alaska!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 20:29
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Ive read all the replies to this thread, and its got me interested. by the sounds of it Zen ray's are european made?
 
Ive never heard of them, but when someone who has tried leica ultravid HD's Swarovski EL's, or a Zeiss Victory sees them, Id be interested to hear a comparison.
 
I am currently outfitted with Leicas for my whole arsenal of binos, so im not looking to buy a pair, but Id be interested to see how they hold their own against the other european brands.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 20:44
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Originally posted by leicaman leicaman wrote:

By the sounds of it Zen ray's are european made?
Actually, they're made in China but they perform like the European models which is why they are all the rage right now.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 20:48
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that would explain the lower price, If they are close to as good as the euro brands, there are some german/austrian guys losing sleep over it.
 
Do they gather light as well in low light?? thats one advantage that european optics ive tried have had over all the rest.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/06/2009 at 20:57
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Actually there are several of us on here that have compared the original Zen Ray EDs with Swaro ELs, Zeiss FLs and Leica Ultravids. In my experience only the FLs bettered them "overall". I would chalk that up to the Abbe Koenig prisms in the FL (brightness, contrast). Chromatic aberration control (color fringing) was equally well controlled in both binoculars. To my eyes the Zen EDs look a hair sharper than the Swaro ELs (originals) and control CA better than the Ultravids.
 
As for the other optical binocular characteristics I thought they were certainly competitive and in the same ballpark as the Euro Alpha glass. Of course there are both optical and physical compromises when comparing any $400 bin and a $1500-$2000 one  but those differences are exceptionally difficult to detect unless you really spend a great deal of time with them under some very specific conditions.
 
I, for one, would have no problem using the Zen EDs in place of some seriously more expensive glass under a variety of different conditions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 16:53
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I know this is an older thread...,

where did you hear the Pentax ED or SPs' were not manufactured & produced in Japan?






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